Saturday, January 3, 2015

2nd Half of 2nd Assignment-

It was pushing towards spring in the Northern Hemisphere, but after the Fire Rain there was a lot of crap up in the stratosphere. Temperatures dropped and dropped and the last mild freeze of winter was followed by the first ruthless freeze of a hard, cold spring and the broken promise of a summer which never came.

At first things ran as much like before as possible, as people clung a little desperately to what was, and now was gone, the old world. The gas station clerk was there to look after the physical plant, the owner/franchisese's money, but the valuable thing was the convenience store food and the gasoline in the tanks. By and by, they woke to the new order of things, but not right away.

The night was desperately cold. The clerk took pity and took chances which he shouldn't have, letting people into the store after hours instead of making the customers use the window. The doors were locked in between times, but along about quarter of eleven, not very late at all, a man appeared at the north door. The clerk assumed that he was coming in from a car on the far side of the of the singleton gas-pump to the north.

But he wasn't.

Instead of looking around the store for purchases, he came right to the clerk at the register, to pay for gas, except that that wasn't what he was here for. He pulled out a shiny metal object and the clerk didn't understand for a moment. Three was a large hole in the shiny metal object and then it was the barrel of a small pistol.

The clerk didn't hear what the man said and he had to repeat himself, waggling end of the weapon in his face. "Open the register!"

Which the clerk did, absently. He thought to himself, 'Smith and Wesson have crawled back upstairs,' proof that, if he was hung like a squirrel, at least he was, hung like a squirrel.

The robber took the money and was gone, out the north door and headed east behind the gas station, where the car and his get-away driver was.

The owners were more upset that he'd let the man in, than anything else. They let him go as things went further to shit, and the stolen money was worthless to everyone, let alone the robber, within the week. Losing the job was the worst thing to happen right then, as he'd had a tab against his wages, had access to bad food and drink, which, in the days after, went away. The shelves of the gas station were emptying out even before he was fired, and he was in the middle of one of the first food riots, a run on an Acme, on his way home.

He fought with a guy over a loaf of bread and ended up with the lesser half and a couple of slices off the floor. They ate, along with most of his half of the loaf with its' twist-tie. That and the last can of tomato soup was all he had in the apartment, and then the landlord kicked him out.

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